mindit chats with Andrada Covaci: “Something fascinating about mindit.io is the fact that you can, and are actively encouraged to, craft your own role as part of the organization.”
October 21, 2022
Vlad Teodorescu Birla

Cristi Vlad knows Andrada Covaci very well, but he wanted everybody to find out what she’s made of.  

Time to see who Andrada is and what she’s been up to lately!

1. What's something that happened to you that can only happen here? What's a unique part about working here?  

I was a part of mindit.io from the beginning. I went to work for a corporation for about two years, and I came back here because mindit.io’s organizational culture and people are truly unique.  

Something fascinating about mindit.io is the fact that you can, and are actively encouraged to, craft your own role as part of the organization. We are closely looking at everyone`s superpower skills and this is what happened to me. I had a lot of roles here, starting in sales, and after that, I went more on the people side of the operations, where I handled recruitment, communication, and HR tasks, in general. Everything that I did was with and about people.  

Getting to know me better, Anamaria Bumbar asked me if I wanted to have a crack at project management, considering that I had what it takes for this position. I had no experience in project management, but Anamaria Bumbar, our COO, saw something in my skillset that would click for the role.  

I find the trust people give you here to be absolutely fantastic. This is something I don’t think you can easily find anywhere else.  

2. How have you grown professionally while on our team?  

Another thing that I like about mindit.io is that I was “thrown” directly into the role, directly into the project. And I like that. I feel that’s the way I learn best.  

I've been part of amazing teams, full of very well-prepared professionals (both colleagues from mindit.io and our partners from Switzerland) and I`m very proud that I`m working with the best on the field, no doubts.

So long story short, I always had a new role here, even when I first came back to mindit.io, joining the recruitment team as a Team Lead. After that, I took on the Project Manager role, and all throughout my mindit.io journey people had my back with any challenge I faced.  

Irina Arsene, mindit.io Founder & Entrepreneur, once told me that it is very important to make mistakes and we shouldn’t be afraid to fail and to learn from our failures. This gave me the needed confidence to try new things and to learn from it.  

I now apply the same approach with all the people I talk to from a People Manager standpoint, as well as with people from other projects with whom I don’t work directly. I always tell them not to be afraid of making mistakes and to always ask as many questions as needed.  

If I were to give myself from the past some advice, that would be to ask more questions straight from the start, without having the fear of sounding unprepared. Ask questions until you’re sure you understood everything.

3. What was the moment you knew you'd made the right decision to work here?

I don’t know if there’s a precise moment in time when that happened. I would say that I had a lot of moments when I realized how happy I was to be back, and I never had a moment of regret being part of the big happy mindit.io team.  

As I mentioned before, I didn’t have a linear path here. I always took on new challenges and sought out new roles. I got involved in more activities, even if they were outside my area of expertise because I’m always curious to learn more.  

I like the event-organizing activities we do in mindit.io, as well as our DoGOOD initiatives, so I never have the time to get bored here. What I consider having been a moment that changed my professional career was when I became a Project Manager.  

I remember when Anamaria called me and proposed this new role, I was extremely surprised. Although I considered myself to be right for this role, I never thought the opportunity would present itself. At least not so fast. I don’t even know why I took a little time to think about the proposal because I knew right from the start that that’s what I wanted to do.  

I called Anamaria back the next day and said, “I’m in!” and I guess that was my “A-ha!” moment, career-wise. And I’m so glad that this switch took place in mindit.io, where I had and still have all the support needed to succeed and to learn.  

This is all part of our organizational culture, which can easily be observed not just from the inside, but also from the outside. Together with our partners, we form one big team, a community, and this is yet another thing you don’t often find in other organizations.  

Bottom line, with the risk of being cheesy... I will say that I`m enormously proud of the impact that we have also outside mindit.io and I know that I made the right decision to work here with every volunteering activity we are organizing. We do change the world for the better, step by step, day by day, and I can't be happier.  

4. What was your best day at work? What are you most proud of?

Best day? That's a hard one! I miss the days we started at the office; but now we are incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to choose when/if to go to the office and when to work from home or from other places. Even if I`m not a big coffee fan, I love the morning vibe from the office, all enjoying the morning taste of a chit-chat over a cup of coffee.

So, for me, this is how the best day starts.  

Other than this small thing, I’m filled with joy when I see a person finding the right context to flourish here at mindit.io, knowing that I laid a small brick in their foundation to living their dream job. That is where I draw my biggest satisfaction. One measuring tool I always use is the number of smiles I receive from the people I interact with on a daily basis. That’s the most important thing for me.  

When it comes to my team and day to day work, I never take pride in the things I do individually. Nothing can compare with what a team can do together, and our achievements makes me proud every time because I know how dedicated we all are to the same objective.  

5. What is your team like?

United! That would be the right word I think, although I have a million others going through my head right now. That’s what I enjoyed about all the mindit.io projects I worked on. We’re all united and we know that we’re all aspiring to reach the same goals.  

Everybody backs each other up and I have full trust that I can go away on vacation, and everything will be ok, with or without me. And my goal is for my team to feel the same way about me, to feel confident and trustful that they can rely on me in any circumstances.  

We encourage feedback on the spot, but as a project manager, I rarely get it from my team members. That’s why I constantly ask for it to better understand people’s needs and where they are at regarding the project and their role.  

6. Which benefits are your favorite and why?

I can’t name just one, because overall, the benefit I like most can’t be quantified. It’s the mindit.io culture. The flexibility we have, the fact that we’re a flat organization and I always feel free to approach anyone. The possibility of crafting your own role. These are all things that can’t be listed as traditional benefits, but they make a world of difference.  

All organizations offer benefits, in one form or another, but the mindit.io culture and freedom are truly something else.  

But to name just 3 of the benefits I like the most, in no particular order, I would say that the travel budget you receive at mindit.io is wonderful. You are encouraged to travel, to explore, to relax, and free your mind.  

My personal goal is to visit the whole world. I am passionate about learning and experiencing other cultures, their traditions, their barriers, and the diversity which makes us all unique. I have a real thirst for knowledge and for me, the extra days off and the travel budget really help out in trying to achieve my goal of visiting the whole wide world.  

Then there’s our award-winning minditNomad benefit, which took home the gold at this year's Employer Branding Awards. Anyone from mindit.io can travel and work, or simply enjoy a vacation at any of the minditNomad homes located in Bucharest, Cluj, Iasi, Sibiu, Constanta or Comarnic, together with their team, their friends, or family.  

And to add one more benefit to the list – and you need to stop me here because I would like to talk about all of them – I would add the learning budget you can take advantage of for yourself, to get certificates and training sessions in areas you want to explore more.  

But all mindit.io benefits are amazing if you ask me. I just picked 3 of them, of the top of my mind.  

7. If you could do anything else for a living, in an alternative universe, what would that be?   

What I wanted to do when I was little versus what I want to do today, as an alternative career path, are two completely opposite things.  

Ideally, I wanted to become a singer. A performer. An artist. I wanted to create memorable artistic shows. I danced a lot when I was little and in high school, and I even went to street dancing competitions.  

To this day I still watch dance and ballet representations because I also enjoy the choreography side of the show. I would have loved to be a performer, offering people a complete artistic experience.    

Today, I would go in a different direction because I know very well my singing voice limitations. Even my music teacher told me that I would get an A+ if I just kept my mouth shut and stuck to dancing.  

That’s why I would probably be a snowboarding or surfing instructor in an alternative universe. I talked to a lot of instructors, and I usually asked them what else they do besides teach these extreme sports.  

Some of them told me that this is their full-time job, and they move from season to season to find the right weather for surfing or snowboarding. They said that all they wanted in life is to have a Zen workplace, with no stress involved, where they can do what they like and teach others their skills.  

In a different universe, I would do something along those lines too. However, I enjoy my current role so much, I hardly even consider it a job at all. It gives me so much energy and motivation and it challenges me to constantly improve so I’m not waxing my boards just yet.  

8. What advice would you give to anyone thinking about joining mindit.io?

I would tell them to have the openness to try new things and to not refuse opportunities without considering them. Try to analyze everything that comes your way, and if it’s not against any values you stand for, just try it. You have nothing to lose, and even if it will seem hard and challenging at first, you’ll have a lot to learn from the overall experience.  

It might even surprise you, as I was when I was offered the PM position. I took the challenge and I never looked back.  

mindit.io works brilliantly for people who are open to new challenges and ideas, and if you’re willing to explore what we have to offer, have a look at our OPEN ROLES and come see what we’re made of. I’m pretty sure you’re going to like it.  

9. What movie, book, or TV show would you recommend? How do you relax and unwind? 

My friends say that I’m like a whirligig spinner, always seeking the adrenaline. I’m an outdoorsy type of person, but I do enjoy taking time for myself and staying at home during the weekends, every now and then.  

I like sports that get my blood racing such as snowboarding, surfing, parachute jumping, hiking but also, I enjoy reading, cooking, and listening to music & podcasts (especially by Mind Architect, and that even fueled my passion for neuroscience).

As I enjoy reading a lot, and nowadays I mostly focus on self-development, some of my favorite books are: “The Power of Now” - Eckhart Tolle, together with “The Power of habit” - Charles Duhig, which already had a very important contribution to my lifestyle.  

Being passionate about psychology and how the human brain works, I also loved “Snake in suits” which is more a documentary kind of book and more on the leadership side I`m now reading “Leaders eat last” by Simon Sinek.  Him and Mark Manson are two of my favorite authors when comes to self-development.    

BUT before I got more into this self-discovery journey, I have to admit that I adored the romantics novels written by Jojo Moyes, together with “Before I Go to Sleep” - S. J. Watson and “The girl in the train" - by Paula Hawkins, 100% better than the movies!  

And... I`ll stop here! At least with the books :D

Series wise... I`m definitely a Game of Thrones junky - is one of my favorite all-time shows, and now I’m watching House of the Dragon, the prequel. I really admire their strategies and I`m fascinating about the way they think, even if most of the times this wasn`t the most ethical way possible of doing things; I would watch the entire series again if I had the time.  

For the same reasons: strategy, way of thinking, mind-blowing decisions, my favorite movie is “Inception” because whenever I rewatch it I discover something new, something I missed before.  

Okay, okay. I admit it. I also tune in to girlish, cheesy chick flicks, because there’s no harm in having something rolling in the background when you want to relax after a long day. Right?    

10. Who would you tag next to be interviewed by us?

Oh, hard task! I won`t pretend that I didn't know this was coming but even so... it`s still a hard one 😀 I`m that kind of person who wants to know everyone and enjoy every story.  So... I had the chance so far to… pick my teammates' brain and that's why I'll tag someone completely outside my day-to-day team.  

Trummbbbsss.... Mariana Vlase!

Why? Well, it is pretty simple - she is one of our key persons when it comes to finance, and I really appreciate her way of working; she is very organized and I`m fascinated about how she works with numbers! Her kindness when it comes to explaining stuff makes her a very likable person and I would like to know her better through the eyes of the mindit chats series.

I would like to end by challenging the readers to do a quick introspection and to ask themselves: Am I the best version of myself as I can be, in this moment? What would I change starting from now? Everything starts with you, everything starts with the present and everything is possible if you just... start, trust the process and have patience. I usually take this time in nature, and it can be 15 minutes, half an hour or even more. Spend more time with yourself.

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